Azure I just about died. The story is finally reaching some better aspects of everything and it's hard not to be completely engulfed by the true beauty of it. Keep writing/brain storming, I love this Fan-Fiction almost as much as my own life....
I really appreciate how you're sort of easing into the Fire Realm story chain. A pit stop every now and then could do these folks some good, actually. xD Seriously, though, after all of the exposition that was provided in chapter 33, it was necessary to just take a breather and see what the characters themselves are up to.
But--but--but I JUST fell in love with this thing!
Oh, well. I guess that can only mean one thing...
I have to write something and pray that it lives up to the majesty of this spectacular fanfic! What's more, we have similar writing styles, so come check it out! Please
Thanks so much, you guys! I appreciate your comments! Alright, it's time for chapter thirty-five! Now begins the detective fiction part of the story, although there isn't much in this chapter. The next couple chapters will focus on it much more. I hope you guys really enjoy this! Please tell me what you think!
- THE SACRED REALM -
“So... Alphonse has achieved his second awakening.”
In the vastness of the Sacred Realm of the Spirits, standing before an endless army of all sorts of wicked monsters and creatures, stood the Demon King.
“And on top of that, he even defeated Acnologia. He’s grown a lot since I first met him.” Malladus pondered aloud. He grinned to himself as he said, “The time will soon come... Soon, we will meet in battle. And when that day comes... I will crush you!”
Then, the Demon King turned to a Stalfos subordinate who was bowing down behind him.
“Before that, though...” Malladus began, “... Why don’t you go make things interesting for Alphonse and his friends? They will arrive at Goron City soon. Pay our friend there a visit. As for what you have him do... I’ll leave that up to you.” he ordered.
The Stalfos let out a short cry of compliance. Malladus sent the Stalfos to the Physical Realm with a flash of blood red aura.
“Heh... I wonder how things will turn out. This will be interesting.” Malladus said to himself.
Seven vibrant lights appeared suddenly, lined up before Malladus and his army. These lights were azure blue in color, and shining so vividly it was impossible to see the bodies of the entities giving off this aura. These seven beings were the Spirits of Light.
“So you’re back again? That didn’t take long...” Malladus said to them. “I’ve finished recovering, too... I take it you’re prepared to continue, then?”
Malladus’s body began to shine with a blood red aura that glowed just as vibrantly as the Spirits’.
“Then let’s continue.” he rasped.
The Spirits of Lights and the Demon King continued their fierce war. As they clashed, it appeared to the evil army as if they were dancing lights.
- THE PHYSICAL REALM; THE TAFT INN -
“Man, this is good!” Regret spoke between shoveling food into his mouth.
He sat at a table inside his room with Layla as he ate breakfast. At The Taft Inn, Mrs. Taft prepared breakfast and personally took it to each guest’s room. Breakfast consisted of bacon and eggs with a glass of orange juice. Regret was piling it down with the ferocity of a wild animal.
“Hey, don’t eat it all! Save some for me!” Layla complained.
“Gowy! (Sorry!)” Regret apologized with a mouth full of food.
“Sigh...” Layla moaned as she stuffed a piece of egg into her mouth. “... Hey, do you think Alphonse and Zelda are awake yet?”
“Ri duwo. Habent een em. (I dunno. Haven’t seen them.)” Regret answered.
“... Don’t talk with your mouth full.” Layla said irritably.
* * *
“Alphonse, get up! Breakfast is here!” Zelda urged me as I lay in bed with my face buried into the pillow.
“I don’t wanna~... Five more minutes...” I begged. My voice was somewhat muffled by the pillow.
“That’s what you said five minutes ago!” Zelda snapped. “Come on, breakfast is gonna get cold!”
“Fine...” I sighed as I raised myself up with my arms.
I hopped out of bed and walked over to the circular wooden table in the room. A plate of bacon and eggs was set there, next to a glass of orange juice. I ate quickly and left the room. I headed downstairs to get my clothes, which had been washed yesterday.
As I left my room, I almost bumped into Regret.
“Oh, morning, Alphonse!” he said cheerfully.
“Hey.” I replied.
The two of us walked downstairs together.
“Man, that breakfast was something else, wasn’t it?” Regret said happily.
“Yeah, it was pretty good.” I answered. Suddenly, something clicked in my brain. “Hey, is Layla still eating or something?”
“Yeah, she is.” he answered.
“... So, Regret, tell me.” I began.
I put my arm on his shoulder and leaned in. “Did you and Layla share a bed last night, or what?” I asked with a sly grin.
A second later, a slipper slammed into the back of my head with surprising force, knocking me face-first to the floor. As I fell, I heard Regret yelp in surprise. I turned my head to see Layla standing behind us with her hands on her hips, pouting. Her cheeks were bright red.
“Don’t you even go there!” she yelled at me.
“Yes, Cap’n.” I replied.
“Hmph.” she continued to pout.
After I got back up, the three of us continued on downstairs. As we entered the lobby, an interesting sight caught our attention.
“Th-this is...!” Mr. Taft gasped. “You mean... It really was under the couch this whole time?!”
“Mm-hmm!” Charlotte answered with beaming eyes as she presented her Grandmother’s necklace to her father. “I told you, Papa!”
Mr. Taft was dumbstruck. He merely stood there, gaping at the necklace with his mouth hanging open. The three of us came upon this sight as we descended the stairs. Once Charlotte saw me, her face lit up even more, and she waved at me. I smiled at her and waved back.
- I’m glad she kept her promise and didn’t say anything about me sneaking down here last night.
After Regret, Layla, and I got our clothes, we went back to our rooms to get changed. Except for Regret. Layla locked him out of their room until she was done changing. Once we were done, we gathered up our things and set out from the inn after asking for directions to Goron City.
* * *
The four of us had been traveling up the mountain for at least an hour. As we walked, I couldn’t help but notice how desolate the Fire Realm really was. It was obvious why very humans lived here; it was so empty. It made me wonder why the Gorons lived here. I guessed that maybe since this realm was nothing but rocks, they’d have all the minerals they’d need for weapon crafting.
“Are we getting closer?” Layla asked.
“I think we’re still at least an hour or so away.” Regret answered.
“Sigh...” Layla groaned.
“Don’t worry, a few hours of walking is nothing--” I started to say.
I was cut off by a plop. I looked skyward, and a second plop hit my cheek.
“It’s raining?” I observed.
As I said that, the rain began to turn into a drizzle, and then gradually began raining harder.
“Aw come on, a downpour now of all times?” Regret complained.
Suddenly, I remembered something.
- Uh-oh... Please don’t let there be a--
My thoughts were cut off when my worst fear came true; a loud thunderclap pierced our ears.
A loud squeal came from Layla’s mouth the second the thunder reached our ears. As soon as she screamed, she grabbed the person closest to her and hugged tightly-- and that person happened to be Regret.
As soon as she hugged him, his face went bright red. “Wha... Wha...” was all that came out of his mouth.
“Layla is afraid of thunder.” I informed him.
- If Layla is gonna be slowed down like this, we’ll probably reach Goron City later than expected... Not to mention, we’ll be soaking wet...
As another sound of thunder rang out, Layla squeezed Regret tighter, and his face got redder.
* * *
When we arrived at Goron City, it was very late in the afternoon. It took us several hours longer that it should have. Because of Layla’s emotional state as a result of the storm, we had to wait it out in the shelter of a large boulder. The storm lasted a couple hours, so we were stuck there for a while. Even after the thunder stopped, the rain continued to fall, so by the time we reached our destination, we were soaked through and through.
As we stood in the entrance to the city, we received several strange looks from a few Gorons. That was understandable. After all, seeing three humans and a fairy show up, dripping wet and shivering, is an odd sight.
“Um... Excuse me.” I called to the small group of Gorons around the entrance to the city. “We’re here to see a Goron named Kagoron. Does anyone know where he lives?”
The Gorons gave each other uncertain looks, and when they looked back at us, one of them asked me, “What business do you have with Kagoron?”
“I’d like him to repair my sword.” I answered.
“Oh, I see, you’re customers.” he said. “He can lead you to Kagoron’s place. Go ahead.” he said, indicating a Goron standing to his left.
The Goron nodded, and beckoned for the four of us to follow him. And so we did.
This Goron wore a white toga like all the other Gorons, but he also wore a blue bowtie around his neck, which was a strange contrast to his yellow skin.
“My name is Link-goro.” he said.
“I’m Alphonse, and this is Zelda, Regret, and Layla.” I introduced. “Nice to meet you, Link-goro.” I said.
“No, it’s just Link-goro.” he corrected.
At first I was confused, because his correction was exactly the same as what I had said. But it didn’t take long to realize that “goro” was a mannerism, and that his name was actually just Link.
While we walked, we passed by a prestigious-looking building. It was taller than most other buildings, but it was still carved out of rock like the rest of the city.
“What’s that big building?” Regret asked. I guess he was curious about it, too.
“That is the home of our race’s patriarch, Darunia-goro. He is a well-respected and powerful warrior, as well as our leader-goro.” Link explained.
As we walked by the home of the patriarch, I got a strange feeling. I looked up to the top floor of the building, and I thought I saw someone watching us from the window. However, I ignored it and continued to follow Link’s lead to Kagoron’s home.
After a couple more minutes of walking, we arrived at another large building. This one had a big water wheel sticking out from the right side of the building. I wondered what kind of purpose it served.
“Is this it?” Regret asked.
“Yes, it is-goro. You guys can go on in-goro.” Link answered.
“Thanks for taking us here.” I said.
Link nodded and walked off. With that, I stepped up and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” a thick voice called out from inside.
I opened the door, and held it open for Zelda, Layla, and Regret. Once we were all inside, we took in the sight of Kagoron’s residence.
A bunch of tools were littered across the floor. Even more tools, as well as a plethora of swords and shields and even armor, hung from the walls. On the far right side of the room, there was a furnace and an anvil. Standing next to that were two Gorons.
One Goron looked rather scrawny; he paled in comparison to the one he was standing beside. The bigger Goron, who had a cigar hanging out of his mouth, was far more burly and looked quite strong. He looked quite old as well. The yellow pigment in the Goron’s skin had clearly faded considerably on him.
“Who are you guys?” the bigger Goron asked.
“I am Alphonse. This is Zelda, Layla, and Regret.” I introduced. “Are you Kagoron?”
“Yes, I am. This is my apprentice, Zauz.” he said, indicating the smaller Goron next to him. “Do you have a request for me?”
“I do.” I said.
I removed the blue duffle back from by back and unzipped it. I removed its contents and presented it to Kagoron.
“I am the Hero of Spirits. I need your help to reforge this sacred sword.” I announced very formally.
Zauz started to gape in shock after I said my title. Kagoron did not seem as affected by it, though. “I see... The Hero of Spirits, eh?” Kagoron took a drag on his cigar, and exhaled slowly. “Let me see your sword.” he requested.
I nodded and handed him the Lokomo Sword. Kagoron drew it from its black sheath and examined it.
“So this is the famous Lokomo Sword, eh...” he muttered to himself. “The craftsmanship is extraordinary... It’s a shame such a beautiful sword is broken.”
“A Lokomo named Anjean told me that the sword can’t be reforged normally.” I informed him. “You’d need the assistance of the Spirits themselves, or someone with their power. And that’s where I come in.” I said.
“I see... Then I’ll need you to help me reforge it. If you channel your power into the anvil as I melt the blade down and reforge it, we should be able to fix it up just fine.” Kagoron told me.
“Okay. When can we get started?” I asked.
“Tomorrow. I was just about to close up shop for the night, and I’m tired. An old man needs his rest. We can get started first thing in the morning.” he said as he put my sword back into its sheath and set it on the anvil. “I’ll hold onto your sword for the night, if that’s okay with you.”
“That’s fine.” I agreed. “Then it’s settled.”
And so our business was concluded for the time being. After a few moments of silence, though, Kagoron began to grin.
“But you’ve come all this way, so I suppose we’ll entertain you for a little while. You kids look soaked. Were you caught in that rainstorm earlier?” he asked.
“... Yeah.” I moaned with an unpleasant expression.
“Ha ha ha...” Kagoron laughed as he saw the look on my face. “Then why don’t you guys go take a dip in the hot spring out back? You can hang out in their while your clothes dry off.” he suggested.
Before I even got the chance to open my mouth, Layla and Regret appeared on either side of me, and said, “You have a hot spring?!”
“That’s right. The water from the spring powers the water wheel outside, which in turn powers the furnace. It’s good for my work as well as for relaxation. Go enjoy yourself while Zauz and I get cleaned up in here. Oh, and there’s a cheap inn down the road you guys can stay in. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room upstairs for you guys to sleep. “ Kagoron said.
“Wow, thanks a lot, old man!” Regret said excitedly. “Hot spring, here I come~!” he declared as he ran off through the back door. Layla followed after him with just as much enthusiasm.
“They sure are excited...” Zelda sighed.
“Yeah, no kidding.” I laughed. “Thanks a lot, Kagoron.” I said with a smile.
Kagoron just smiled back and went to help Zauz tidy up. I stood where I was and watched him for a bit. I thought he was a pretty serious guy, but it turns out that he can be pretty laid back, too. As I thought about that, Zelda and I headed out back to join Layla and Regret in the hot spring.
After coming out the back, we found ourselves in a large, wide-open room. There was a dome-like roof with a small opening at the top, probably to let out the steam from the hot spring. The spring itself was pretty large. It didn’t look too deep, but looked very relaxing.
Layla and Regret were standing next to each other, facing the hot spring. Neither of them were moving.
“What’s wrong, guys?” I asked them.
In perfect sync, they both turned their heads to face me and said, “There’s no wall!”.
“No wall?” I echoed.
“There’s no wall dividing the bath...” Layla said.
“And there’s no place to get undressed...” Regret said.
“Well, of course there isn’t.” I told them. “This isn’t a public hot spring, it’s Kagoron’s own personal hot spring. He wouldn’t need a wall to divide the spring if he was the only one using it.”
“But...” Regret began.
“We can’t...” Layla began.
Then, once again in perfect sync, they said, “We can’t bathe together!”
I looked at them with a pretty dumbfounded expression.
- That’s what this is all about?
I sighed before I continued. “It’s not a big deal. If you feel uncomfortable, then just don’t look at each other.” I said nonchalantly.
Though I said that, I still had reservations about bathing with Layla again.
I started to lift up my shirt to take it off. Layla gasped and ran up to me, pulling my shirt back down. Her face was pretty red.
“Listen.” she whispered quietly enough to prevent Regret from overhearing. “Just because I’m comfortable being naked around you doesn’t mean it’s the same around Regret!”
I then proceeded to once again make the grave mistake of speaking without thinking.
“But didn’t you two share a bed last night?”
Shortly after, Kagoron came into the hot spring room. “What was that loud sound?” he asked. Kagoron paused as he looked upon the strange sight before him. “... What happened here?”
Layla was standing with her arms crossed and a serious pout on her face. Regret had backed off, and he had a frightened expression on his face. I was on the ground in front of Layla, laying on my back with a red mark in the shape of a palm on my face.
“... Nothing much.” I said in a weak voice.
In the end, we never even used the hot springs. We headed to the inn Kagoron told us about and let our clothes dry properly while we slept; in separate rooms this time.
* * *
“Man, what a day...” I sighed as I collapsed onto my bed.
By this time, all my clothes had dried off. My trench coat was hanging on the coat hanger in the corner of the room. I got into the bed wearing my black pants and the light gray tunic I received from the Gerudo. It had a V shape cut into the neck tied with a dark brown cord and cuffs at the end of the sleeves. It was pretty comfy.
As I laid on the bed, Zelda circled over my head.
“You know, you always say things that make Layla upset. You should really think before you speak.” she chided.
“Well, it’s not like I mean to upset her...” I grumbled.
“I know that. You just have no tact.” she laughed.
“So you guys keep telling me...” I complained. “I guess it's just hard for me to tell where the line is sometimes."
“I get you. Just be caureful if you wanna keep living.” she joked.
“Uh-huh.” I agreed.
The two of us went quiet for a little while. I stretched while still laying on the bed, and shifted my body so it was in a more comfortable position. Zelda hovered down and took her usual place next to my head on the pillow.
“Good night.” I said.
“Good night.” she said back.
I closed my eyes and gradually fell asleep. Tomorrow, I would wake up early and meet up with Layla and Regret. Then we would go back to Kagoron’s place, and I would help him reforge the Lokomo Sword. That was the plan. However...
Late that night, a loud scream, sounding as if it came from outside, caused both of us to wake up with a start.
- A scream?!
I didn’t hesitate to jump out of the bed and dash out of the room. I practically broke down the door as I rushed out. I didn’t bother to wait for Zelda or Layla or Regret. I sprinted down the stairs and ran out of the inn as fast as I could.
Once outside, I looked around for the direction of the scream. I caught the sight of a crowd gathering several blocks up the road. I immediately realized that Kagoron’s house was in that direction.
- I have a bad feeling about this...
I tossed all worries aside and rushed down the street to the gathering crowd. As I got closer, my fears came to life as I noticed that the crowd was gathering in front of Kagoron’s house. I picked up the pace.
I ran to the front of the crowd and skidded to a stop. I was wearing socks, so the friction hurt my feet a little. But that didn’t matter right now. As I looked towards Kagoron’s house, a horrifying sight came into view.
Hanging out of a broken window on the top floor was Kagoron. A noose was tied around his neck.
Again a very good chapter Azure. You write it funnyb and you seem to grow more and more. I noticed one slight mistake "As we entered the lobby, an interesting site caught our attention."
Shouldn't that be sight? That was the only thing I noticed Layla keeps on smacking him
He has. No tact. At all. Alfonze is a great character, it's become clear that he's no longer a Gary Stu.
This is hilarious, Az! Keep up the good work! Also, I loved the cliffhanger ending there. Can't wait for the next one.
Heh, I had a feeling that this was going to be one of those calm-before-the-storm-type chapters. Similarly to the last chapter, this one was enjoyable in that it took a step back from much of the world-changing mythos, and just sort of let us hang out with Alphonse and the gang. Up until the end, of course, when things got real. xP
Thanks for your comments, guys! I appreciate them all! It's now time for chapter thirty-six. I tried my best to give enough clues to let you guys guess on your own, but I'm still a novice at detective fiction. There are more clues and more mystery in the upcoming chapters too, so look forward to that! Now, without further adieu, chapter thirty-six!
I stared up in shock at the sight of Kagoron’s dead body hanging by its neck out of the window on the top floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t understand how something like this could have happened.
“Alphonse!” Zelda called out as she finally caught up with me. “What hap...”
Her voice trailed off as soon as she saw Kagoron’s body. Layla was the next to arrive, followed closely by Regret. They became speechless at this gruesome sight, too. The crowd of Gorons behind us were all panicking.
“Who could have done this?!”
Things like that were being either whispered or shouted.
“Master!” another voice shouted.
I looked to the source of the voice behind me and saw Zauz. He was holding a big bag of materials that looked like ingots. He must’ve been out shopping when it happened. Zauz’s trembling arms dropped the bag, and he fell to his knees as tears welled up in his eyes.
“Master... How... How could this happen...” he sobbed.
I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Zauz. Kagoron was his master as well as someone he looked up too. Seeing him murdered like this must be hard for him. I knew what he was going through, having seen Rena killed right before my eyes. I subconsciously clenched my fists as I looked back up to Kagoron’s body.
- Zauz... I promise you, I will find the person who did this.
I turned to my friends. “We can’t let whoever was responsible get away with this.” I said.
Layla and Regret nodded. “I agree.” Layla said.
“What are we gonna do?” Zelda asked.
After thinking it over for a bit, I answered her. “You and I will go investigate the scene. Layla, you and Regret stay here and talk to the Gorons. Try to find out if anyone saw anything.”
“Okay.” Layla said.
I then walked forward a few paces, and turned around and faced the crowd of Gorons. I raised my voice. “Listen up, everyone!” I shouted. The crowd quieted down, and everyone turned their attention to me. “I am the The Hero of Spirits. My friends and I are going to try to figure out what happened here. Please cooperate with them while I go investigate the scene.”
The crowd of Gorons looked unsure, but they all eventually agreed. I figured letting them know I was the Hero of Spirits would help them trust me. Throwing my title around could be pretty handy sometimes, although I didn’t like to do it.
“Let’s meet back up in the inn after this.” I said to Regret and Layla. The two of them nodded in agreement.
Now that this was all settled, Zelda and I entered Kagoron’s house. I closed the door behind me, and began to look around the first floor. Everything was exactly the way it was when my friends and I left earlier. The Lokomo Sword was still right where Kagoron left it on top of the anvil.
“Whatever happened must have taken place upstairs.” Zelda observed.
I nodded in agreement, and the two of us headed to the second floor. On our way there, I noticed the clock on the wall said 4:47. That would mean the time of death would be around 4:45.
Once we were upstairs, we observed that there were three rooms. One was a bathroom, another was a small bedroom-- probably Zauz’s-- and the last was a large study. Zelda and I went into the study first.
When we entered the room, there were obvious signs of a struggle. Lots of books and papers were knocked onto the floor, and the desk chair had been knocked over. A rope was tied to the desk, and that rope led out the window behind the desk, on the other side of the room. It wasn’t hard to guess that this was the rope tied around Kagoron’s neck.
“The murder was definitely committed here.” I said to myself.
Zelda flew further into the room. “Alphonse, come look at this!” she said.
I walked over to see what she was referring to. On the desk, two cups of tea were set, next to a tea pot.
“Two cups?” I said.
“Kagoron must have had a visitor over.” Zelda speculated.
“Then that visitor is most likely the culprit. It looks like Kagoron knew his killer.” I concluded.
After I came to that conclusion, I looked behind me, to the hallway this room was connected to. Zauz’s room was on the left side, and the bathroom was on the right side. On the end was this room. But the stairs leading up here weren’t at the other end of the hallway; they were next to the bathroom. On the other end was a window.
I walked out of Kagoron’s room and headed over to that window. It was open, and it was the kind of window that was split down the middle so that it opened as two halves.
“It looks like the culprit is someone with a fairly large stature.” I guessed.
“How do you know?” Zelda asked.
“Because this window is open as wide as it can go. The culprit probably left through here to avoid the crowd that would soon gather after he pushed Kagoron’s body of of the window in his study. And he must be a pretty big guy if he had to open this window all the way to get out.” I explained.
“Yeah, but he could have also pushed the window open in a hurry, and it happened to open all the way because of the force he used when he opened it.” Zelda theorized.
“That’s possible too, but I don’t think that’s the case.” I rebutted.
“What do you mean?”
“Kagoron is a big guy. You’d have to be pretty strong to take him down, much less lift him up and toss him out of a window. So the killer would have to be a fairly big guy anyway. Maybe it was another Goron."
“That’s true. You have a point.” Zelda agreed. “But it still doesn’t tell us much. There are probably a lot of Gorons who are big and burly.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I hope Regret and Layla have more luck interviewing those Gorons out there.” I said as I stepped up on the windowsill.
“What are you doing?” Zelda asked.
“The killer left through here. I’m gonna see if I can try to follow his path.” I answered.
I jumped out the window, and when I landed, I felt an unpleasant recoil in my legs.
- Ow... I guess it was higher than I thought.
Zelda quickly joined me down on the street. “Which way do you think he went?” she asked.
“I’m not sure." I said after looking around. "I don’t see any obvious signs of someone being here, so it could be anywhere. This is harder than I thought.” I complained.
“Well then, why don’t we go visit Darunia? The Patriarch.” Zelda suggested.
“What for?” I asked.
“He can help us organize a bunch of people to investigate Kagoron’s death. With more people, it would make this investigation a lot easier.” she explained.
“Oh, good thinking. Let’s go.” I said as I started walking.
“Alphonse, Darunia’s house is in the opposite direction.” Zelda sighed.
“... I know.” I said as I turned around and walked the other way.
“You and your directional impairment...” Zelda moaned.
I ignored her and continued to walk. While I was walking, I couldn’t help but think about how unlucky this was.
- Now that Kagoron’s dead, who am I gonna get to repair the Lokomo Sword?
I realized that this could very well have been the reason he was murdered...
* * *
“I didn’t see anything.”
“I came here because I saw a crowd. I didn’t see what happened.”
“Sorry, I really don’t know anything.”
Layla and Regret kept getting those kinds of responses as they interviewed the crowd of Gorons.
“Man, this is getting us nowhere.” Layla complained.
“Wait, I just got an idea.” Regret said to her. “Hey, Zauz.” he called out to Kagoron’s apprentice. “You told us you were out shopping for materials when this happened, right?”
“That’s right.” Zauz replied.
“What time did you leave?” Regret asked.
“Um... Around 4:30, I think.” Zauz answered. “I didn’t see anything when I left. No one was around.”
“4:30, huh? What time is it now?” Regret asked.
“It’s about 4:50.” Layla answered.
“And the murder happened about five minutes ago... That gives the killer a fifteen-minute window of opportunity.” Regret concluded. “Do you know if Kagoron was expecting company?” he asked Zauz.
Zauz shook his head. “Master never tells me those things. I really wouldn’t know.”
Just then, someone arrived in a hurry. “Let me through!” his voice called out.
Layla and Regret looked over to the source of the voice. The crowd of Gorons began to gasp, and they parted for him. The new arrival was another Goron. He was big and burly, and had noticeably large sideburns. He seemed to be older, since his hair was gray.
As this new arrival looked up at Kagoron’s body, his expression became ridden with horror. “Kagoron... What happened?” he breathed.
“Excuse me... Who are you?” Layla asked him.
He turned to face her and spoke. “I am Darunia, the Patriarch of the Gorons. Who are you, child?” he said.
“Y-You’re Darunia?!” Layla gasped.
“She’s Layla, and I’m Regret.” Regret answered. “We’re friends of the Hero of Spirits, and we’re looking into Kagoron’s death.” he explained.
“I see. Friends of the Hero of Spirits...” Darunia said.
“If I may ask, what are you doing out here?” Layla asked him.
“I came here because I was going to have tea with Kagoron. We’re old friends. But I was never expecting something like this to happen...” he said solemnly.
“Well, we’ve asked everyone here what they knew, but it doesn’t seem like anyone knows anything.” Regret told Darunia.
“I see... Well, thanks for your hard work, you two. I am going back to my office, and I will organize a task force to investigate this case. I can assume I’ll have your support?” he said.
“That’s right. We’ll definitely help you investigate this.” Layla said.
“Thank you very much. I must be going now.” Darunia said.
He took one last look at Kagoron’s body before he walked off. At the same time, the crowd of Gorons gradually began to disappear until only Zauz was left standing with Regret and Layla.
“Well, we’ve done all we can here. Let’s go back to the inn and wait for Alphonse and Zelda.” Layla said.
“Okay. Do you wanna come with us, Zauz?” Regret asked the grief-ridden blacksmith apprentice.
“... No. I will be fine here.” he answered.
“Are you sure?” Regret asked.
“Yes. I am going to cut down Master and give him a proper burial. It’s the least I can do as his apprentice.” Zauz said.
Regret and Layla were silent for a short while. “Okay then. If that’s what you wanna do...” Regret said. “I’m really sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you.” Zauz said as he headed inside.
“Let’s go, Layla.” Regret said.
“O... Okay.” she replied.
As Layla followed after Regret, she looked back at Zauz. She watched as his figure entered the house and disappeared.
“I really hope he’s gonna be alright...” she whispered to herself.
* * *
“This is it, right?” I said.
“Yeah, this is definitely the place.” Zelda confirmed.
We were standing outside Darunia’s home. Well, it was more like an office building than a home. It seemed the place where town meetings were held, not just his living quarters.
“Let’s go inside.” I said.
The two of us entered through the double doors and found ourselves in some kind of lobby. There was even a reception desk. A Goron was sitting behind it. When he saw us, he greeted us.
“Welcome. Do you have an appointment with Darunia?” he asked.
I approached the counter with Zelda. “No, but we came here to see him.” I answered.
“I’m sorry, he’s not here right now.” the receptionist answered. “He left at around 4:30. I’m afraid I don’t know when he will be coming back.”
“Oh, okay. Thanks anyway.” I said as I started to leave.
“Um... If you’d like, you can leave a message for him with your names.” the Goron said to me as I was leaving.
“No, that won’t be necessary. We’ll just come back later.” I said. “Let’s go, Zelda.”
“Okay...” she replied.
* * *
Once Zelda and I got back to the inn, Layla and Regret were waiting for us in the lobby. We all went upstairs, and we gathered in my room to go over everything we’ve learned about this case.
I sat on the edge of my bed, and Layla sat down next to me. Regret sat in one of the chairs that accompanied the circular table in the room. He pulled it up closer to us so he could join the circle. Zelda, who normally hovered by my head, had decided to hover next to Regret this time. I guess she wanted this to be more like an actual circle or something.
“I’ll start.” I said. “When we investigated the scene, Zelda and I found two cups of tea set on Kagoron’s desk. We concluded that he had a visitor before he died.”
“A visitor?” Regret said. “When we were interviewing the Gorons, Darunia showed up. He said he was on his way to have tea with Kagoron.”
“What?” I said in surprise.
- Could it be...
“What time did he get there?” I asked.
“He arrived around 4:50.” Layla said.
“Zelda and I went to his office. The receptionist said he left at 4:30.” I said.
“This doesn’t make sense. It only takes ten minutes to get to Kagoron’s house from where Darunia’s place is.” Zelda said.
“Zauz said he went out shopping at 4:30, and he didn’t get back until the same time we arrived at the scene, at 4:45, giving the killer a fifteen-minute window of opportunity to kill Kagoron.” Regret said.
“4:45 is about the time of death, too.” I added.
“But , wait... According to the time the receptionist said he left and the time he actually should have arrived, Darunia should have gotten to Kagoron’s house ten minutes before he actually did.” Zelda said.
- Just as I thought...
“... Ten minutes falls into the window of opportunity.” I said quietly.
“Wait, Alphonse, you aren’t suggesting...?” Layla began.
“Thats crazy!” Regret exclaimed.
“Alphonse, are you certain about this?” Zelda asked.
I didn’t answer right away. I went over everything we’ve learned so far in my head. We didn’t have any definitive evidence, but things just didn’t add up. It was our only lead, but it was risky to accuse someone in his position. However, I understood that this was something we shouldn’t ignore. I decided we had to take that chance.
“I’m certain.” I finally answered. “It’s still early in the morning. Let’s wait until daytime.
“Once the sun rises, we’re going to see Darunia.”
* * *
It was now almost 10:00 in the morning. Zelda, Layla, Regret and I had all gone to a nearby restaurant called “The Rocky Diner” for breakfast.
We sat at our own booth. Layla and Regret sat next to each other on one side while I sat on the other with Zelda hovering next to me. We had ordered Goron Sunny-Side-Up Eggs with a side of Rocky Bacon Strips and Mineral Orange Juice. Aside from the cheesy rock-themed names, the food was very good.
While we ate, I was lost in thought. I wondered about Kagoron’s murder, and the strange circumstances surrounding Darunia. He was going to have tea with Kagoron, but he arrived ten minutes later than he should have. Even so, there were two cups of tea in Kagoron’s study. Also, Darunia was supposedly a powerful warrior-- or so I was told by Link yesterday-- so he would be able to lift up Kagoron’s body for sure.
But did he really do it? Darunia was the Patriarch of the Gorons, and according to Regret and Layla he was also an old friend of Kagoron’s. No matter how hard I thought about it, I just couldn’t come up with any kind of motive.
The more I thought about it, the more I began to doubt this lead. Not only could I not prove motive, I was about to accuse the leader of the Gorons of murdering his close friend. Darunia would definitely not be pleased by that. As I kept mulling over all of this, I was growing to dislike this situation more and more.
- Just what should I do?
Coming up with an answer to that question was hard, but I decided we really had no choice. This was the only lead we had to go on, and Zauz deserved an answer. We couldn’t afford to wait around for some new evidence to just magically appear.
After we finished eating, we paid for our meals and left the restaurant. We talked as we walked through the city toward Darunia’s office.
“We’re really gonna do this?” Layla asked, even though she knew the answer.
“We have to. We don’t have any other leads.” Regret said.
“Yeah, but... “ Layla said.
“Regret’s right. We don’t have a choice. If we’re wrong, we can just apologize.” I said.
“Do you really think he’ll accept an apology just like that?” Layla said.
“That’s true, but waiting around doing nothing isn’t going to help. We have to take this chance.” Zelda said.
“I guess you’re right...” Layla conceded.
“I really don’t want to accuse him either, but it’s the only thing we can do right now.” I said. “Let’s go. We’re almost there.”
“Alright...” Layla said.
Regret and Zelda nodded.
The four of us continued on to Darunia’s office. Whether we were about to confront a killer or a grieving friend, however, was still yet to be determined.
Oh this was so good!!! I love this! I always love the investigate a murderscene plot Great job. I had darunia in mind too but also Zauz. Oh well you know the answer Write the next chapter soon will you?
Hmm...I know you said that this would be the time where you're introducing the detective parts of the story, but the rather "sudden" shift gets me gears grinding, y'know? It was nicely written minus a hiccup here and there, but the shift in writing style is just irksome.
Keep it coming, though, as I'm likely just being overanalytical.
Story... It's a good one, too. Typically I say that I dislike mysteries, but in tour writing style it's great. Or maybe I'm just a biased Zelda fan... I think not, but it's always a possibility. (It's not even a possibility to consider :-)